6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Dylan on January 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I love this. I think you’re right. Obviously to a point, because time constrains and probably other factors do hinder employed anthros from blogging on a daily or even weekly basis. That said a lot of hard working anthros in the academy still manage to teach three courses, sit on editorial boards, present papers, do all their admin work, publish books, peer review, plus many other duties and still blog. I havent managed that balance with any kind of consistency. Altho i do rarely.

    My personal position for failing to blog more is a mixture of the time constrains, which impact on the quality of what i might blog (and hence not wanting to look stooopid), but also wanting to have a social life outside of work. Its a toss up; do nothing but anthro and get my blogging or public pieces out there, or find quality time to do other things outside anthro which remind me i’m human and not a reading/thinking machine.


  2. Hi Dylan,

    Thanks for the comments! I’m bringing this rant into my thesis conclusion, hopefully in a less caustic fashion.

    The part about academics not being ready for feedback outside the peer review process, ties in to an article I found today discussing how blogs and twitter are being used to rip into peer reviewed articles days after they are published, and how authors aren’t always ready to deal with this.


    Again thanks for dropping by!


  3. thanks for posting this [rant] owen. i have a lot of the same thoughts and sentiments, and often wonder where things are heading.

    “This is why the majority of anthropologists are not sharing their work outside of a peer reviewed journal, and why they don’t want to share their work openly online. You don’t want to engage with noobs.”

    ya, i do think that’s part of it. it’s funny to me that so many talk about public engagement, and then most of the work that’s published ends up in publications that are DEFINITELY not geared toward wider audiences. take a look at American Anthropologist, Human Organization, Practicing Anthropology, and even Anthro News. None of these are meant to engage with folks outside of academia (how would people even FIND them?).

    still, i do think some changes are on the horizon. and i look to certain anthros who are moving in a direction that pays a lot more attention to writing, style, presentation, etc. communication matters–so it really makes sense to start paying more attention to writing (and general media production) as a fundamental method (or craft) in anthropology. pure opinion though.


  4. Posted by o.w. on January 24, 2011 at 2:34 am

    Thanks for the opinionating Ryan!


  5. Posted by Jeremy on February 14, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve rarely read such a stupid blog post.

    No, seriously, a lot of very good points in this. For a noob. 😉

    I especially like the idea that the hierarchical conceptions pervasive in academia are a problem, not least for the quality of the research produced.

    I guess that if one can’t deal with noobs’ criticism, then maybe one have no business teaching (I tend to think that publishing research is not, or should not be conceived as very different from teaching.)

    I guess some people might argue though that for mathematicians, the fact that they “they write in ways no one wants to bother to understand, they write about things not important to anyone else” is an absolutely normal and good state of affairs, and then the same people might ask why it should be different for anthropologists ?

    Maybe the fact that anthropologists are supposed to study “human beings”, while mathematicians are supposed to study “quantity, structure, space, and change”, and that you can’t do harm to the latter abstract entities, have something to do with it.


  6. lol thanks!!! Didn’t mean to leave this hanging, but preparations for the thesis defence took precedence. Awesome comment.


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